Is organic cotton better for babies

Organic Cotton: 4 Reasons It's So Much Better

"Made from 100% organic cotton": You read this advice more and more often with clothes, bed linen and Co. What that means and why it is worth paying attention to it.

What does organic cotton mean?

Cotton istheFabric of the fashion industry: Around half of our clothes are made from the soft fabric of the cotton plant. For many people, wearing cotton is associated with positive thoughts: it is something natural, something pure, warm, soft and sustainable. The downside of the gigantic cotton industry is often overlooked or ignored.

Even today, cotton is still grown under sometimes catastrophic conditions, both humanitarian (keyword child labor) and ecological. Synthetic pesticides and artificial fertilizers are used in conventional cotton cultivation, and around 10,000 liters of water are needed to produce one kilo of cotton.

Organic cotton addresses precisely these ecological problems. Organic cotton means that it was produced according to the guidelines of organic farming. Chemical pesticides and fertilizers are not allowed to be used here, and significantly less water is needed for production. So is organic cotton better?

Why organic cotton? 4 reasons

There are five main reasons to look for 100% organic cotton when buying clothes and other textiles:

  1. Less water: The cultivation of organic cotton requires significantly less water than the conventional cotton industry. The information on exactly how much water is saved varies greatly from study to study. The numbers range from 50% to 91%. The fact is that the cultivation of organic cotton also requires a lot of water, but significantly less than usual. This is because the plants are allowed to grow naturally and rainwater is also used for irrigation.
  2. No genetic manipulation: Most of the cotton plants used in conventional production are genetically modified. This is not allowed with organic cotton.
  3. No chemical pesticides: No chemical pesticides or fertilizers are used in the organic cultivation of cotton. This protects nature and the workers.
  4. Fair working conditions:Organic cotton cultivation is not only better for workers because it does not use pesticides. As a rule, they also get better prices and wages.

Organic cotton at h & m, C&A and Co.?

More and more shops, including fast fashion chains like h & m and C&A or discounters like Lidl, are now paying attention to organic cotton. The two fashion labels are even said to be working on converting their entire production to organic cotton. The prices are striking here. Ultimately, it seems reasonable to assume that organic cotton products must be more expensive than products made from non-sustainable cotton.

This is not the case at h & m, Lidl and Co.: Baby leggings are available in packs of 2 from € 6.99, while a men's casual shirt costs € 9.99. C&A explains it like this: "Our goal was and is to make organic cotton accessible to everyone and therefore we do not pass the higher costs on to you. Because we can only make a difference together." Can this be?

According to the "Textile Exchange", an average surcharge of 5 and 20% must be expected for the more complex production of organic cotton. Big players like h & m or C&A, who purchase large quantities of their garments with organic cotton, if they accept a slight loss of profit, can actually offer them at a price similar to their other products without any problems.

LUPILU® baby long-sleeved shirts, 3 pieces, made of pure organic cotton

Organic cotton isn't everything

Anyone who not only values ​​organic cotton, but also fair and particularly sustainable production, should refrain from fast fashion chains. The fashion giants produce cheaply in Asia under catastrophic conditions for the workers. The goods should be produced as cheaply as possible and then sold at a profit. Not expensive, but a lot, that's the motto. And this model works: every person in Germany buys an average of 60 new items of clothing per year. Many of them are not worn at all and just end up in the bin. According to a study, every German throws 4.7 kg of clothing in the trash every year.

Fashion labels like hessnatur or Armed Angels are trying to counter this. You sell sustainable and fair fashion, which is not about chasing the latest trends and selling as much as possible. Her motto: Better to have one good pair of jeans than five that have to be replaced after wearing them a few times. But that's also a question of price: Not every family can afford these products, especially baby and children's clothing, which the offspring quickly outgrew. Our tip: buy second hand.

Swell: WWF, aboutorganiccotton.org, Quarks, Textile Exchange

Image source: Getty Images / morrowlight